Charming campus canines capture hearts of community

Courtesy of Kate Etzold
Courtesy of Elizabeth Bennett
Courtesy of Adam Hintze

Lewis & Clark is a beautiful campus, welcoming those from all walks of life. One group in particular is near-universally popular, even earning the coveted role of our mascot. Dogs are truly the best friend you can have, and the dogs of LC are some of the very best our community has to offer. 

Elizabeth & Rhubarb

Many know Associate Professor of International Affairs Elizabeth Bennett for her popular Political Economy courses, but equally important is her frequent teaching companion, Rhubarb. Rhubarb has been a staple of Bennett’s classes since the fall of 2014, and the 11-year-old yellow Labrador retriever fits right into academia.

“Rhubarb absolutely loves college life. She loves the energy of the students, the beautiful campus to run around, the excitement that people express when they see her joyfully chasing a ball,” said Bennett. “It has been just wonderful for us to be able to spend so much time on campus and together.”

Like so many of us, Rhubarb looks forward to seeing all her LC friends whenever she comes to campus.

“She’s always excited to arrive and run around and say hi to friends that she sees. She’s always excited to see people that she knows from class, or people that she’s met before. So she’s on the lookout for friends,” said Bennett.

School is not just about socializing, and a seasoned collegiate dog like Rhubarb knows that her academics must come first.

“She comes to class and watches the lecture, sometimes eats a snack out of someone’s backpack when they’re not looking. You know, one time in the middle of a very exciting conversation in International Political Economy, she did vomit in the middle of the class discussion. So we took a break,” said Bennett.
Throughout a long day of walks and lectures, Rhubarb needs her rest. She is understandably particular about her need to rejuvenate in a space that is her own.

“It’s really important to her that Hans Morgenthau, the other International Affairs Department dog does not lay on her dog bed,” said Bennett.

Keeping your energy up is important when taking on a full day of classes, and Rhubarb knows how to keep herself sustained.

“I would say the snack that makes Rhubarb the happiest is a piece of pizza that’s been discarded in a bush,” said Bennett. “She has a knack for smelling something, doing a U-turn, completely engrossing herself in a bush and then coming out with a slice of pizza, and I can not tell you how many times this has happened on campus. And that is probably the greatest look of joy I’ve seen on Rhubarb’s face.”

Even when there is no pizza to be found, Rhubarb enjoys exploring lots of different areas on campus.

“There is a bush where I think some of her friends must leave notes for her because she’s always intent on smelling it,” said Bennett. “She also occasionally likes to check out the Pio mascot outside of the gym, and even though he’s a statue, somehow it doesn’t stop her from smelling him as if he’s an actual dog.”

Her favorite spot on campus, however, is where she can find friendly faces.

“She’s always excited to go into Howard Hall because she knows she’s going to see students that she knows,” said Bennett.

Kate & Arlo 

As Kate Etzold ’24 is nearing the end of her time at Lewis & Clark, so is another beloved Pio. Arlo is a four-year-old International Affairs major and an Entrepreneurial Business minor. He is an Australian cattle dog mixed with German shepherd, border and Standard collie. 

“He has been to every single day of school at Lewis & Clark,” said Etzold. “He comes to all my classes, he comes to the gym with me afterwards … And then we go home and we sit on the couch. And he’s a cuddler … I bring him everywhere with me. But school is a lot different in the sense (that) you’re in a lot of close conversations with people.”

When Etzold started bringing Arlo to school, he was practically still a puppy. Like any first-year college student, it took him time to adjust to the environment.

“It was hard for him to first kind of understand, being that he’s a service dog, that when somebody comes into my space, it’s not like he immediately needs to get the attention from them and play and all that stuff … this was definitely his first real-world setting of being in close quarters with people, but still kind of having his job,” Etzold said. “He’s a very loving dog, which is a great quality. But that was hard for him to kind of adjust to, so I think it took like the first semester of him really like ‘Oh, we just sit in class for an hour or an hour and a half? Okay.’”

Two years later, Arlo is a collegiate pro.

“Now (it’s) second nature. He knows where we sit and he’s got his unassigned assigned seats and he just sits underneath them and usually sleeps,” said Etzold.

Long, studious days are sure to work up an appetite, and that is certainly true for Arlo.

“He’s kind of a picky eater. He will beg for everything under the sun: fruit, candy, meat, chocolate, you know, all the things. But he’s pretty much a carnivore. I would have to say he loves chicken. I have caught him on top of my counter eating chicken breasts although he won’t admit to that,” said Etzold.

Whether begging for a snack or a head rub, Arlo can find amenable companions everywhere.

“I think it helps that he’s so friendly. He immediately sees people and lights up. … It’s the eyebrows, the eyebrows draw everybody in,” said Etzold.

While LC students embrace Arlo as an adorable classmate and canine pal, one community member has yet to fall for his charms.

“Rhubarb doesn’t much care for Arlo. She’s an old little yellow lab lady. And Arlo I think would love if Rhubarb loved him a little bit,” said Etzold. “They’re on good terms now in the sense that she just ignores him. He used to get like barked at. I would say Rhubarb is his older lady crush.”

Adam & June

Adam Hintze, Area Director of Copeland, is a vital part of the Campus Living team. Perhaps even more vital is his dog, June, who lives with him in his on-campus apartment. Like many dog owners, Hintze used a DNA test to identify June’s specific breed. 

“She is mostly German shepherd and American Staffordshire mix, and possibly part wiener dog, which comes out a lot in her personality,” said Hintze.

Unlike her breed, June’s age is a little tricky to pin down. She was a stray in Texas before she came to LC, so Hintze is unsure of her exact age, but estimates she is around seven years old.

As an Area Director, Hintze’s days are packed with lots of important meetings and events. June, however, lives a more luxurious life.

“A typical day is about 16 hours of napping,” said Hintze. “Since I live on campus as a live-in staff member, I do get a lot of opportunities to stop home, give her some pats, say hi, take her on a little extra walk once in a while. Yeah, she’s very lazy.”

As a “couch girl,” June spends a lot of her time at home sitting in front of the TV. But even when her body is at rest, her mind is hard at work.

“We try to change the channels, but I mostly leave it on TED Talks,” said Hintze. “I’d put her up against any baby genius-parented baby. Who’s got the real education?”

Outside the apartment, June enjoys exploring campus and enriching herself with all that LC has to offer.

“We go between Evans and J.R. Howard, and anytime — I believe it’s the ensemble practice room — there’s like brass musicians playing there, her ears really perk up at trumpets for some reason. She always can pull me in that direction,” said Hintze.

While June loves classic dog treats, her taste for the finer things certainly includes her food. She loves yogurt, but prefers an even more luxurious snack.

“She’s developed a taste for lox, like salmon lox, recently,” said Hintze. “Yes, she’s pampered in that way.”

Life is pretty good for LC’s canine population, from the veterans to the near-graduates to the most genteel.

“It’s a pretty wonderful life, I think, to be a dog,” said Bennett.

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